A 20-year-old man walks into a church and massacres nine people, claiming that he was afraid that America was being taken over by Black Americans, citing American race relations as evidence. About a month later, a man wears a GoPro, tapes himself walking up to a local reporter and a cameraman, and shoots them both on camera, proclaiming racial injustice in this country as his motive.

Police officers are looking over their shoulders as several cops have been targeted and gunned down. The week before classes started, seven officers were killed in the line of duty; a few were execution-style targeted killings.

An officer I talked to put it succinctly: “If they want to come after me, fine. Just come at me head on. Don’t shoot me in the back of my head. I’d rather go down with a fighting chance.”

Is this an atmosphere created by the police officers and racist elements in society itself? Many, including individuals in the Black Lives Matter movement, believe so.

Or is it because of Black Lives Matter? Many believe that as well, including a police chief who made his remarks after one of his officers was shot and killed—he claimed that Black Lives Matter was responsible for the officer’s death. Some want Black Lives Matter labeled as a hate group.

I talked to a Black Lives Matter supporter, Michael Smith ’18, who recoiled when I told him I was wondering if the movement was legitimate. This is not questioning their claims of racism among the police, or in society itself. Rather, is the movement itself actually achieving anything positive? Does it have the potential for positive change?

There is evidence to support both views. Police forces around the country are making more of an effort to be more transparent, have undergone investigations to root out racist officers and policies, and have forced the conversation to the front pages after being buried on the back pages for far too long.

On the other hand, following the Baltimore riots, the city saw a big spike in murders. Good officers, like the one I talked to, go to work every day even more worried that they won’t come home. The officer’s comments reminded me of what soldiers used to say after being hit with IEDs in Iraq. Police forces with a wartime-like mentality are never a good thing.

Smith countered with, “You can’t judge an entire movement off the actions of a few extremists.”

I responded with, “Isn’t that what the movement is doing with the police? Judging an entire profession off the actions of a few members?”

Hence, my concerns that the movement is not legitimate, or at the very least, hypocritical.

It is apparent that the man who shot the reporter and her cameraman isn’t a representation of Black Lives Matter. The question is whether or not the movement is setting the conditions of the more extreme or mentally disturbed individuals to commit atrocities.

Smith explained further. “Yes, but the police have an established system of reporting the bad officers. BLM is decentralized, they aren’t as organized. You can’t hold the more moderate elements responsible for what a crazy person does in their name.”

Perhaps. But that doesn’t explain Black Lives Matter rallies from cheering after an officer is killed, chanting that they want more pigs to fry like bacon. That wasn’t one or two people. The movement also doesn’t want to be associated with looters and rioters, calling them opportunistic. But it is plausible that Black Lives Matter has created the conditions for these individuals to exploit for their own personal gain.

I warned in an article last semester that a movement that does not combat its own extremists will quickly run into trouble. The reasons why are now self-evident. If Black Lives Matter is going to be the one responsible for generating these conversations, then a significant portion of that conversation needs to be about peace. They need to stand with police units that lose a member, decrying it with as much passion as they do when a police officer kills an unarmed civilian.

Smith does have a point, though. An organization cannot be labeled based of a small percentage of their membership. There is a reason why so many have shown up to protests across the country: there is clearly something wrong, and wrong enough to motivate them to exit their homes and express their frustration publicly. That is no small effort. The system is clearly failing many, and unfortunately they feel like they will only be listened to if their protests reach the front pages of the news. And so far, they are correct.

But this principle needs to be applied universally. I know many of us here at Wesleyan realize that most police officers are good people simply doing a service for their community, and that there are only a few bad apples. But those chanting to fry the pigs seem to have missed this message.

It boils down to this for me: If vilification and denigration of the police force continues to be a significant portion of Black Lives Matter’s message, then I will not support the movement, I cannot support the movement. And many Americans feel the same. I should repeat, I do support many of the efforts by the more moderate activists.

It is advice that I need to take myself. After the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nation-wide, a few liberals gloated in a conservative political forum that I like to read. They were surprised by the reaction: every conservative who responded was happy with the ruling.

I realize that moderate conservatives need to speak up more as well. If we had, gay marriage might have been legalized years ago. Instead, I got the feeling that a lot of moderate conservatives were afraid of speaking up about the issue and being labeled as a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

I also understand the frustration of moderate Black Lives Matter members, like the one I talked to, about being stereotyped based off of a few radical and vocal members.

Kim Davis, the misguided clerk who is refusing to hand out marriage licenses, is a perfect example of this. As a conservative, it is infuriating to see one clerk in one city out of the thousands in conservative states making headlines, when the rest are handing out licenses with no issue. One clerk is making headlines and is being held up as evidence that conservatives hate homosexuality. Kim Davis generated a couple hundred supporters, a very small showing.

Yet I am not innocent when it comes to Kim Davis. I could have gone down to the courthouse and joined the counter protest, holding up a sign that says “conservatives for gay marriage rights,” and made a statement that Kim Davis is not representative of the mainstream conservative views. I don’t blame those who can’t support conservatives for not being more vocally pro-gay rights, though many liberal politicians were also silent on the issue during the 1990s and 2000s.

Returning to Black Lives Matter, the country is nervously waiting to see what happens next. The next unarmed civilian to be killed, the next officer to be killed, the next radical racist to take their views to the next level.

At some point Black Lives Matter is going to be confronted with an uncomfortable question, if they haven’t already begun asking it: Is this all worth it? Is it worth another riot that destroys a downtown district? Another death, another massacre? At what point will Black Lives Matter go back to the drawing table and rethink how they are approaching the problem?

Bryan Stascavage is a member of the Class of 2018.

  • N “Knows” Davis

    Good article, and I am sorry that this newspaper is being punished for publishing a very fair article. I grew up in a country where free speech was a given and where on universities free speech was supported as a right given by our bill of rights.

    I am not sure what is happening here. Why would students who have an understanding of our government want to practice exactly one of the things we had a revolution over? Our freedom of speech and to have a free press is what we stand on.

    As for Black lives matters is concerned…they are right…there is a severe need for young black men to be in a safe place. We need to work on giving them their safety. Family values are important and more. I hope they learn to push for this safety without turning on all whites and police officers.

    • Debbie

      “I hope they learn to push for this safety without turning on all whites and police officers…”

      Too late.

      BLM has demonstrated clearly that it only cares about the lives of violent thugs like Michael Brown who happen to be Black, and even then, only if they are killed by police.

  • T Regiones

    Until the the Good Cops start policing the Bad Cops there are no good cops. There is a well documented Blue Wall of Silence that protects Bad police officers from being outed by their peers. The author willfully left out this well known institutionalized phenomenon when suggesting that we are wrong to judge cops as a whole by the actions of a bad few. Then furthers the insult by suggesting that we treat the BLM group the same. They are not the same. The author is well aware of this. These deceptive tactics are common among white nationalist conservatives trying to deflect criticism of the status quo in this country. Maybe the author should go back to the drawing table and ask himself some uncomfortable questions regarding how free speech when free of facts is propaganda.

  • Anonymous

    A thoughtful article.

    Perhaps the most salient issue is unaddressable, given the recent fallout: if one is truly concerned with saving black lives, the police, along with “stop and frisk” tactics, are not the problem but part of the solution. As is “mass incarceration” as the BLM types put it—taking and keeping violent criminals off the street saves lives, the vast majority of them black lives.

    But BLM is not an organization that is truly interested in improving the lot of black Americans, anymore than the Occupy types cared about 99% of their fellow citizens.

    These outfits are engaged in economic and social rent-seeking through identity politics—a perfectly logical activity in a society that values even self-inflicted victimhood over values like character, hard work, and selflessness.

  • Happycrank

    What has made Wesleyan’s students so timid and afraid of controversy?

  • Anthony

    A fair and reasonable essay by both an American veteran and 30 year old college student. Wish it were more Millennials similarly engaged in American societal vitals!

  • Richard Terrelonge

    Black lives matter is a group advocating for the right to life of Black Americans. The police have hierarchies and groups to advocate on their behalf. In the current environment In our country I don’t expect either side to spend much time looking out for the other sides interests. African Americans having faced dogs, fire hoses, batons, lynchings, castrations, amputations well understand that only strong resistance keeps the baser instincts of our majority brothers and sisters in check.

    The right to assemble and protest is enshrined in our constitution yet in Ferguson when peaceful protesters assembled to exercise their right they were met with the same type of force as one would I see in a combat zone. If lives matter or if black lives matter where was the right wing. When a cattle rancher in the west refused to pay his grazing fees the right was out with assault style weapons pointing at police threatening to kill them. Not a protest from the right. Say anything related to gun control and the right will quickly assert their second amendment rights to be used to stand up to the government meaning the police first followed by the military.

    This document from Wesleyan is the kind of manifesto we see issued prior to a campus wide killing spree and the administration rightfully reacted to restrain the instincts expressed here.

    • Happycrank

      If “black lives matter,” then what about the 110 blacks killed each week by other blacks?

      • Drakken

        Statistics.

      • Happycrank

        People, oddly enough.

      • BG Davis

        What about the thousands of racist comments like yours every day?
        What’s your point? If any.

    • Debbie

      It’s clear that BLM cares primarily about the lives of Blacks like Michael Brown who choose to become violent criminal thugs, which is why it will never be respected outside of “progressive” circles and enclaves.

      • BG Davis

        No, in fact to any honest, rational person it’s not clear at all, because it’s not true.

    • Alex

      “the right was out with assault style weapons pointing at police threatening to kill them” — Please stop spreading this lie. No one pointed weapons at the police officers or federal officials or threatened to kill them during that standoff

      “the kind of manifesto we see issued prior to a campus wide killing spree” — And please stop with the ridiculous hyperbole. This is so stupid it really needs no answer.

      • BG Davis

        “No one pointed weapons at the police officers or federal officials or threatened to kill them during that standoff”
        Gee, so all that media footage, complete with sound, was fake? Right.

  • Neet

    This is bad journalism. The official data on police killings in America shows that for the past couple decades, that number has never been steady. Yes, more officers were murdered in 2014 than 2013 but 2013 was a fluke– it was the safest year EVER for police. Researchers have concluded there is no evidence BLM increased killings of police. I cant believe this article would be published without taking 5 minutes to check those stats… You are perpetuating the same old media stereotypes. And, Black Lives Matter is not only protesting police brutality but also police harrasment. On a national average, black drivers are twice as likely to be stopped than white or hispanic drivers. Thats not happening because of a few rotten police– our police system is racist.

    I believe the real critique of BLM is that they are not doing enough to get thier message through to other races. Even the name of the movement has divided the races. At the end of the day, institutional racism is not going to end when a small, minority group stands up. The majority of people living under that system need to stand up.

  • Anonymous

    Your civilization is dead. Long live mob rule.

  • Nunya Beeswax

    You don’t combat a dominant cultural narrative that says “Black people are always guilty” with a narrative that says “Black people are never guilty.” The cure for calumny is not hagiography, but the truth.

    The Oscar Grant case is not the Nate Wilks case is not the Yonas Alehegne case, and so on. There are obviously cases where police officers have engaged in brutality and needless killing, just as there are cases where it is not so easy to see who was at fault and cases where the police did what any reasonable person would expect them to do (pro tip : if you’re walking toward a police officer carrying a gun and you refuse to put it down when they tell you, expect to be shot).

  • Mr. Reality

    Good article.

  • Oaklandish

    Greetings from Oakland, CA – home of the Black Panther Party (you college kids look that one up). Anyway, yes…black lives do matter. HOWEVER, with the high percentage of black-on-black violence, I often wonder why they are not reading their own t-shirts.

    • Full Measure

      Yes,

    • BG Davis

      Yeah, right. How about you, non-college dude, tell us why the Black Panther Party started in the first place?
      Again the tired racist argument that black criminals kill black people (wow! what a startling concept). And so for you that makes it OK for the police to kill unarmed black Americans.
      A great racist argument.

  • Nnam

    This article is written by someone who has a lot to learn.

    • SWalkerTTU

      Presumably that’s why he’s at Wesleyan.

  • RR

    Somewhere in this country, 3 PEOPLE DIE EVERY DAY AT THE HANDS OF THE POLICE.
    http://killedbypolice.net/

    So… you wanna bitch/complain that a couple dozen cops die each year? Okay. Any death is a tragedy. But we’re at nearly 1,000 citizens of this county that have died at the hands of police, as of today. If the “Black Lives Matter” people aren’t speaking up, who will?? YOU?? No, I don’t think so. Schmuck.

  • Peter Gozenya

    gjhgjhg

  • Full Measure

    #LivesMatter #BehaviorMatters

  • Anonymous

    You are not a CONSERVATIVE if you could in any way support two ffaggots marrying. WTF would you be “conserving”? It’s like saying “I’m a pro-choice conservative”, they don’t go together, murdering babies is something that conservatives are trying to STOP. Jesus Christ specifically told you in Matthew 19:4-6 that MARRIAGE is BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. So how could you call yourself a “conservative” and be AGAINST that which Christ taught specifically? Since no one in their right mind in those days thought that what two perverts did to each other should be called marriage, WHY DO YOU THINK JESUS FELT THE NEED TO SPECIFICALLY SAY WHAT HE SAID? Obviously He could see what was coming down the pike, after liberal scum had softened up the country with their baby murdering and cries of TOLERANCE, and he wanted to PRE-EMPTIVELY weigh in!

    Every conservative should be like Kim Davis. But most of you are FAKE CHRISTIANS, and not saved at all BIBLICALLY, Acts 2:4, Acts 2:38, like Ms Davis IS. If the mistreatment of slaves was sufficient to cause “brother to rise against brother” in the Civil War, as it most definitely was, then how much more worth FIGHTING is the holocaust visited upon all races through abortion? Or the PERVERSION of the GOD GIVEN institution of MARRIAGE? The problem is that you really don’t represent the values that you claim to represent.

    • Liz

      As a Christian, I don’t support gay marriage, because God doesn’t, and so I agree with Kim Davis morally. If it was as simple as upholding the law, however, as a public servant, the decision would have to make would be whether to do the job she’s paid to do, or quit. The problem that few people seem to be addressing though, is that the “law” supporting gay marriage is not a LAWFUL “law”. Only an enabling act of Congress, the people’s representatives, can render a “Supreme” Court ruling enforceable law. So she was enforcing the law, according to the right that she had.

      • DookerT

        What the hell are you talking about an act of congress can only make a court ruling enforceable? You have no clue what you are talking about. The supreme court reviews laws ALREADY passed by congress or in the constitution and interpret them as best they can upon the oaths they swear when they are appointed. The term “marriage” is not copyrighted, owned, or manifested by Christianity or any other religion on the planet. Religions can no longer co-opt marriage or its tenants. Denying persons the ability to marry, based solely on the fact they are the same biological sex, is denying them equal justice before the law, period, end of story. The rest is just babbling over the semantics of the term marriage, which for the rest of the adults in the room, is irrelevant.

    • God? Who is this god person? Does he vote in this country? The United States does not recognize the laws of foreign dictators.

    • DookerT

      This guy is either a well researched troll or fucking crazy. I have no doubt that real conservatives, say Ben Shapiro, would be embarrassed by someone like you.

  • Black Lives Matter; Take Pride In Parenting; End Our National Epidemic of Child Abuse and Neglect; End Community Violence, Police Fear & Educator’s Frustrations

    During a February 2014 on-air discussion about “Gangsta Culture” with Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett (Google search discussion), Bill O’Reilly intelligently and compassionately talks about America’s expanding and shameful National Epidemic of Child Abuse & Neglect, aka Poverty, that for decades has deprived countless children from experiencing and enjoying a safe, fairly happy American kid childhood.

    Besides O’Reilly and Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, how many Americans are addressing this topic that is at the core of most all the issues and social problems many Americans of African descent are today experiencing?

    Speaking At The Eulogy For The Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney, President Barack Obama said:

    “Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate.” (Applause.)

    Video Excerpt from Obama Remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T_GwYI7MnQ

    With all due respect to my American neighbors supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, I believe your cause would better serve all Americans if your organization were to honestly, openly and compassionately address our National Epidemic of Child Abuse and Neglect, aka Poverty that for decades has deprived untold numbers of depressed children from experiencing and enjoying a safe, fairly happy American kid childhood.

    I strongly suggest members of the Black Lives Matter target communities that have embraced The Street Culture Baltimore Mom of The Year Toya Graham desperately struggles to keep her son from embracing.

    In his 2015 Grammy award winning Rap Performance titled “I”, Kendrick Lamar writes, “I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent.”

    During a January 20, 2011 LAWeekly interview (Google search) Kendrick, born in 1987, the same year songwriter Suzanne Vega wrote a song about child abuse and *VICTIM DENIAL* that was nominated for a Grammy award, he told the interviewer:

    “Lamar’s parents moved from Chicago to Compton in 1984 with all of $500 in their pockets. “My mom’s one of 13 [THIRTEEN] siblings, and they all got SIX kids, and till I was 13 everybody was in Compton,” he says.”

    “I’m 6 years old, seein’ my uncles playing with shotguns, sellin’ dope in front of the apartment. My moms and pops never said nothing, ’cause they were young and living wild, too. I got about 15 stories like ‘Average Joe.'”

    It seems evident to me Kendrick identified the source of his depression, the roots of poverty, the child abuse/maltreatment that prevented him, his brothers, sisters, cousins, neighborhood friends, elementary and JHS classmates from enjoying a fairly happy, safe Average Joe and Josie American kid childhood.

    Seems the adults responsible for raising the children in Kendrick’s immediate and extended family placed obstacles in their children’s way, causing their kids to deal with challenges and stresses young minds are not prepared to deal with….nor should they or any other children be exposed to and have to deal with.

    It seems evident to me these PARENTAL INTRODUCED obstacles and challenges cause some developing children’s minds to become tormented and go haywire, not knowing OR NOT CARING ABOUT right from wrong…because as they mature, young victims of child abuse realize their parents introduced them to a life of pain and struggle, totally unlike the mostly safe, happy life the media showed them many American kids were enjoying. RESENTMENT

    I cannot speak for anyone else, but if I was raised in Kendrick’s family I would most likely be silently peeved at my parents for being immature irresponsible “living wild” adults who deprived me of a safe, happy childhood.

    Though like many victims of child abuse, most likely I would deny my parents harmed me, seeking to blame others for the pain my parents caused to me.

    I wonder how little Kendrick and his classmates reacted when their elementary school teacher introduced the DARE presenter and they learned about the real dangers of drugs and how they harm people, including their parents? *Cognitive Dissonance*

    In a Oct 25, 2012, LAWeekly interview (Google search) Kendrick talks about being a SIX-YEAR-OLD child who was not able to trust and rely on his mom…essentially he speaks about being emotionally abandon by his own mom.

    Growing up during the 60-70s I listened to virtually ALL American music artists of African descent writing beautiful songs admiring, praising, wooing, lamenting, respecting and loving the MATERNAL HALF of our population.

    I am curious to know if members and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have wondered why for the past three decades, many popular American music performers of African descent have been characterizing the maternal half of our population as *itches and *hores…essentially less than human creatures or people not worthy of respect?

    Honestly, I have a feeling most BLM supporters don’t have the strength or will to face the truth about who is responsible for filling our prisons with depressed, angry, frustrated, sometimes suicidal teens and young men who were victims of early childhood abuse and neglect at the hands of immature teen girls and women who irresponsibly begin building families before acquiring the skills, PATIENCE and means to properly raise a fairly happy American kid who enjoys Safe Street to travel and play on.

    Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke offers sound advice to all Americans, “Fix the ghetto!”

    I’m with Sheriff Clarke. I believe we also need to re-examine society’s child protection and welfare laws.

    I am hoping when camera technology proves its worth in protecting police officers, as well as identifying officers who require further training or officers who have no business serving the public in a LE capacity, we will use that same technology to protect children by monitoring the common area of homes in which caregivers have established a track record for failing to properly raise, nurture and/or supervise their children.

    Recently I watched a video that saddened me as well as enlightened me when I learned child welfare investigators test the hair of child abuse victims for “ambient” exposure to drugs.

    Holy smokes, the numbers were critical. At the least cameras would expose signs of intoxication in homes identified as requiring extra care to prevent children from being emotionally and or physically harmed.

    If we do not take affirmative action to protect children, “the ghetto” will continue to thrive, fueled by poor parenting, resulting with depressed kids maturing into depressed, sometimes suicidal teens and adults who often vent their angers and frustrations on their peaceful neighbors, instead of the person(s) responsible for introducing them to a life of hardship, pain and struggle.

    This video depicts horrific examples of men who were victims of childhood abuse and neglect, conditioning a young teen to embrace the criminal, anti-social ‘Street Culture’ Baltimore Mom of The Year failed to protect her teen son from…not to mention representing the fear peaceful people living and WORKING in the community experience knowing depressed, angry, unpredictable, sometimes suicidal teens and young adults need to vent their angers and frustrations for being introduced to a life of pain and struggle by irresponsible, “living wild” single moms and/or dads.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3ChOLiJa8k

    This is a recorded act of criminal child abuse, maltreatment and violence against…”A little girl, catching a cool breeze from an air conditioning unit in the yard, was blindsided by another child about her same age, who had evidently had some practice with fighting fierce. The small victim wasn’t alone, as there were plenty of nearby witnesses, who could have protected her but didn’t because they were too busy recording the brutal beat down and encouraging it.” | Written By Amanda Shea

    What I see in this recorded act of criminal child abuse, is adults conditioning children to embrace the cycle of child abuse, child maltreatment and violence passed down from generation to generation by depressed Americans who are content living in the poverty they are primarily responsible for fueling when irresponsibly birthing children from selfishness, instead of the love between two committed adult partners.

    https://www.facebook.com/mediatakeout/videos/vb.731743396857610/1037463359618944/

    NY Times May 18, 2015 – Rise in Suicide by Black Children Surprises Researchers

    Quoting the NYT article, “The suicide rate among black children has nearly doubled since the early 1990s, surpassing the rate for white children, a new study has found.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/health/suicide-rate-for-black-children-surged-in-2-decades-study-says.html

    Who or what is responsible for traumatizing, abusing, neglecting, maltreating children to the point where depressed young kids believe their lives are not worth living?

    With all due respect to my American neighbors of African descent, the oppression of humans that led to racism and slavery has largely been replaced with a new form of human oppression that impedes and deprives many American children from experiencing and enjoying a safe, fairly happy American kid childhood.

    #TakePrideInParenting
    #EndChildAbuseNeglect
    #ProtectKidsFromIrresponsibleCaregivers
    oo-

    • BG Davis

      Right. So all this means that it’s OK for the police to kill unarmed black civilians. Right.

      • Guest121

        I’ve noticed your comments all throughout this thread, and after reading this one, I feel the need to say something. Could you realistically perceive the original comment as being anti-BLM or by being pro cop-killing? I think you could. Realistically speaking, I can see where you might have gotten that. I can’t say I agree, but I also can’t blame you. The purpose of the initial comment was hardly touching on the actual issues BLM is trying to stop. They stated that they believed the BLM movement would be better served fighting child abuse and neglect over police brutality. Their mentality was that the reason kids (black or otherwise) grow bitter, lash out and commit crimes is because they grew up in a neglectful or abusive home. I won’t claim to agree with all of their points, but I think that general idea is spot on. By bringing an end to child abuse, we stand to see a drop in crime. This drop in crime will possibly (hopefully) bring an end to the stereotype “black people are criminals”. It has to deal more with the root cause of an issue; being proactive over being reactive. Of course people getting killed by police is a problem. It’s a huge problem, and it’s one that needs to be solved. I think the best solution is to combat both; and Black Lives Matter, with their impressive rally turnout and rather membership numbers, could really make that happen. Someone in another comment pointed out that BLM is responsible for the increased presence of video cameras and recorders being utilized in the police field. That is an amazing accomplishment! I think if BLM made that happen, then they could really tackle the issue of child abuse and neglect.

  • Tim

    What I’ve seen of the BLM crowd are obnoxious, loud-mouthed bullies who don’t want to have a conversation….they want to have a CONFRONTATION.

    I agreed with everything they said about cops targeting blacks unfairly; but when I brought up that waaaaaaay more blacks are killed by other blacks each day, I then became a bigot who ‘didn’t understand’ the problem because I was white.

    In other words, they profiled me because of my color.

    Now, WHY should I support such a racist group?

    • BG Davis

      No, they responded to your deflection. Yes, blacks are killed by black thugs. That does not mean that the police have the right to kill unarmed black civilians. Unless you think that the police should be thugs also. Or that unarmed black civilians are fair game.

      • ernie cohen

        The problem is that police kill Black and White civilians in the same proportion as the rest of society does. So the numbers argue pretty convincingly that, on the whole, they aren’t discriminating based on race.

  • 4aCo-operationation

    The problem is blm is founded by racists who can’t change their spots; their deeply flawed presumption that racism is a major problem factor in our judical system; when economics is by far the main corrupter and the real problem guarantees they will fail to achieve anything positive or longlasting that is good. They lack the understanding of the difference in types of civil disobediance such as boycotting and protesting a business that has racist policies: and disrupting the general public: And they justify; even lionize, criminal elements over all those who believe in orderly peaceful Assembly and the Right to Free Speech; openly threatening not only law enforcement but disorder; while issuing blanket accusations against all white people with never ending demands of payment for some generalized offense going hundreds if not thousands of years based on skin color. They are inciting riot; looting, arson, and everything that comes from them; they will never be a part of any civilized society; because quite to the contrary, they are the enemies of it.

  • Wdcg

    I agree with you completely. The only thing I can’t understand is that when a police officer kills a person, the benefit of the doubt goes to the police officer starting from the police chief down to the police union and conservatives. Can we start with an independent investigation, a jury trial of necessary and asking for the police departments to be open with all the facts and data. Whenever I hear in a press conference after a police officer kills someone that the police officer was correct in shooting a person, I distrust that statement and the police. Could it be that the police officer even acting in good faith made a mistake? But all I hear from conservatives is that that isn’t possible. I think that’s where the BLM starts because they feel they aren’t getting any justice and are automatically seen as at fault.

  • Loeil Alice

    Bravo for asking the question! QUESTIONS CAN NOT BECOME TABOU IN A FREE SOCIETY. carry on, and good luck!

  • A thoughtful article that raises good points. I’ll be sending in a donation to Wesleyan this year earmarked for the Argus (in response to the curtailed funding of the paper.) Or perhaps I should pay to advertise my business in the Argus. Would the Argus take advertising dollars from an alum selling sexy lingerie?
    Antonia Townsend, ’93

    Founder, Enclosed
    http://www.TheEnclosed.com

  • Tatiana Covington

    Grow up. You’ll be out of that five-year playpen someday. And you’ll have to work for a living!!!

  • Cat Camille

    I’m also black and I find no issues with this article. As a matter of fact, it brings up some important points that should be questioned and entertained. I support Black Lives Matter but I also believe there are ignorant people that can take this issue…on both sides…way to the left or way to the right. Articles like this SHOULD spark conversation and debate; it is also necessary for the course of gaining understanding of varying view points.

  • Jason Coogler

    Pretty well reasoned article. As far as media coverage, until the public realizes that with 24 hour news cable channels now, the media has more interest in stirring up controversy and conflict than actual factual, reasoned news reporting, the country will continue to be largely polarized.

  • Wow. So this is the article that got the Argus slammed? I expected far worse. I feel bad for the kids who ran this story.

  • thubten

    this opinion seems very balanced.why was the Argus punished?

  • Tijan

    There are minority groups in every country. Enlightened people understand it is just for a society to defend them. Seeking to discredit (or even caste doubt upon) a movement that defends the rights of the minority is just being a bully.

  • cfst

    My compliments to the author on a solid student op-ed. It’s truly a sad state of affairs when a thoughtful, nuanced piece such as this rouses the ire of the thought police. They lack the intellectual capital and discipline to debate your ideas, so their only resort is to censorship and bullying. The attempts to defund this publication are truly disgraceful.

    • BG Davis

      Thoughtful and nuanced? More like illogical and self-contradictory.

      • DookerT

        What, in any way, is illogical and self-contradictory about this story? It’s just pointing out some obvious hypocrisy and whether or not the BLM movement is actually moving in a healthy direction.

  • Curtis Robinson

    You’re missing the point.

    Michael Smith was spot on with his words. One of the issues BLM is fighting against is an entire system of policing by which those “bad apples” are covered for by the criminal justice system and never truly brought down. We’ve seen many people, specifically those young and Black, get brutalized by those “bad apples” during arrests and stuffed into jails at higher rates compared to their White counterparts for the same crimes.

    BLM also fights against an entire history and culture of this nation which values White lives over Black ones. There has not been a single moment in this nation where some minority of color has not felt the effect, generationally, culturally, society-wise, wealth-wise, etc., of what policies such as Jim Crow and redlining have done to harm colored communities.

    BLM IS a very decentralized movement by which its supporters share the same idea – The successful advancement of Black people from where they are now by ensuring that Black lives truly matter in our society. However, not everyone can agree on the “How” that will be done. So yes, there are people somewhat extreme or even prejudiced that claim BLM along with many other “moderate” activists which you seem to say. But let us not forget that Booker T. Washington coexisted with W.E.B DuBois or that Martin Luther King coexisted with Malcolm X. So it does worry me, also as a Black individual, that you express your “disapproval” without actually giving thought of background as to how this movement started or even why it exists in the first place: “If vilification and denigration of the police force continues to be a significant portion of Black Lives Matter’s message, then I will not support the movement, I cannot support the movement”.

    I highly encourage you that you read “Herstory” by one of the founders of the movement, Alicia Garza, as it explains the true central idea of the cause. Hopefully this will turn you’re seemingly negative moderate disapproval, to positive moderate contribution instead.

    • Drakken

      Keep pushing you hate whitey message and the backlash you should fear will come to pass. If you want a gander of what it will look like, just look at the Balkans. So keep pushing that whitey is racist, like the little boy who cried wolf(racist) one too many times, the wolf will soon eat well and the villages will lose their village idiots.

    • Lisa Montez

      The heated rhetoric that the BLM movement keeps pushing will ensure a continuation of this so-called generational racist. I don’t mean to denigrate real racism but, it seems that the people with the loudest voices want the racism to continue. We realize it exists but let’s get on with our lives. Why must some people keep with the woe-is-me meme? Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, and others don’t seem to want racism to die a natural death. Most of us are trying (letting) America evolve into a color-blind society. But some people just don’t want that. I think that’s tragic!

      • Curtis Robinson

        If you realize racism exists, and by that I mean the same social system that hasn’t changed which now leads to more Black people being arrested at higher rates for the same crimes as Whites, then you’d already know that the one’s speaking the loudest are most likely the ones most affected by it. Why allow a disease like that to develop while you “close your eyes”?

      • BG Davis

        “We realize it exists but let’s get on with our lives.”
        Well. Lisa, the problem is that the unarmed black Americans killed by the police don’t really have the ability to get on with their lives, since those lives have been forcibly terminated. Is that really so hard to understand? And other unarmed black Americans quite logically do tend to feel just a tad apprehensive about their own safety.
        If you think the US is even remotely close to being a color-blind society you really need to get out more. And pay attention to the words and actions of white people in places ranging from Miami Beach to Missouri to La Jolla CA.
        BTW, congratulations for managing to get in the anti-Obama trollery.

  • Andrew P. Evans
  • ShlomoShunn

    When will black lives start mattering to blacks?

    From 1939-45 Germany and England were at each other’s throats. Since then each has rebuilt, become strong again, and now work together.

    Blacks in America were freed from slavery 152 years ago and STILL remain at the bottom of society.

    When people hear about white flashmobs they think of dancing in an Antwerp train station. When they think of black flashmobs they think of stories being robbed.

    Blacks are thought to be loud, rude, crude, and lewd…a group that celebrates thug-life and coarse music. The world views American blacks as a violent, uneducated, work-averse, Ebonics-speaking group that kills its member in large numbers and has 75% of kids out of wedlock. They see blacks standing on street corners drinking all day; living for generations on welfare; becoming ever-more obese and obtuse; burning their own cities when angry; and being led by race-hustlers with greedy hands out.

    Until blacks own up to their own failings and work to improve themselves, things will just worsen. Plus more and more whites are getting angry, fed-up with black crime, buying guns for any signs of a race war.

    Atop all that, illegals are flooding the nation, taking jobs blacks once held. And browns often move blacks out when the former arrive in sufficient numbers.

    There’s a reason no one screams, “OMG! The Amish are moving into our neighborhood!”

    • BG Davis

      What a delightfully racist rant.

  • duffy91

    Good article, nice balance.

  • BG Davis

    Boy is this guy dishonest. First he says: “An organization cannot be labeled based of a small percentage of their membership.” Then he goes on to say, “If vilification and denigration of the police force continues to be a significant portion of Black Lives Matter’s message…”
    Well, dude, it’s not “a significant portion.” It’s a small percentage.
    And it’s ridiculous to compare the killing of a police officer by some thug to the killing of an unarmed civilian by a police officer. Thugs by definition don’t obey the law. Police officers are supposed to uphold the law. Murder is always bad, but it adds a disturbing dimension when the forces of law and order commit murder. And when the victims of official murder are disproportionately black, the element of racism is also added.
    Bottom line: another biased commentary by someone pretending to be rational and neutral. His essay fails the logic test–for obvious reasons.

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  • All the author of the article above proved is….he has no idea why Black Lives Matter exists.

    One of the most immature and just plain WRONG articles I’ve ever read.
    SMFH.

    Every single point he made can easily be blown apart by my 14- and 15-year old nieces.
    What a dunce.

  • dolive

    There should have been a counter opinion piece to this article. The writer’s point of view is that of a privileged, white male. Given that demographic, of course you see the police as good people just doing their jobs. The police protect you and your community. That is not the case for black youth living in urban areas where they are deemed criminals or gunned down just for walking down the street. Also, talking to a single person involved in the Black Lives Matter movement is hardly thorough journalism. These activists have been a catalyst for police accountability, the launch of nonpartisan, community police review boards, and the firing of government officials who have allowed police brutality to go on. All of which are positive responses to a system that is out of control.

  • Adam Manno

    “Is it worth it?” Are you serious? While I agree that this op-ed should have been published without harm being infringed on the paper or the student, this white kid has no idea what systemic and historical problems have led to people wanting to mobilize in this way. Like he said himself, it’s not easy to get out of your house and protest for just anything. No one in the movement is calling for the killing of any police officer, so that entire point (on which the entire article seems to rest on) is moot.

  • Alex Gibson

    While I do not agree with most of the points in the article I do believe that there is evidence behind some of them. I think instead of the paper being punished as it was and offering an apology to those who had their feeling offended by these debatable points the should have been some counter argument posted the next week. I do appreciate how the author instead of bashing BLM completely they go about in a more polite way and he seems to have done his research. He not only spoke to a police officer but all spoke to someone who is a supporter of BLM. Personally as someone who did debate through high school and college i am disappointed to see how the article was received and punished because this is a prime debate topic that has multiple opinions. Also to those in the comments along with me instead of hating on the author because of his point of view, Debate with him as maybe he will see things differently or you will come to learn something new.

  • James

    “Kim Davis, the misguided clerk who is refusing to hand out marriage licenses, is a perfect example of this. As a conservative, it is infuriating to see one clerk in one city out of the thousands in conservative states making headlines, when the rest are handing out licenses with no issue.” — Bryan Stascavage

    Good point, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and that’s not always fair. But then fast-forward to today, some two years since this article was written. The twice disgraced judge Roy Moore just won a senate primary in Alabama and is likely to be the state’s next senator. Here is a man who put imposing his personal prejudices and religious beliefs ahead of the law and his oath to the Constitution. A man who, if he had his druthers, would criminalize homosêxual relations.

    I digress.

    I totally agree that the Black Lives Matter movement overall has a legitimate complaint. I firmly believe that unnecessary police violence and a criminal justice system which enables it is a serious problem in this country and that major reforms in law-enforcement, police training, and the justice system is needed. I’ve strongly argued this in the past.

    That said, I will not support or excuse some of the tactics being employed by some in the BLM movement {violence, riots, looting, shutting down highways, vilification of law-enforcement broadly}.

    Mr. Smith is quite right, “You can’t judge an entire movement off the actions of a few extremists.” You can, however, hold a movement or organization accountable when it refuses to weed out or even protects the bad actors in their midst. Mr. Smith might just agree with this as BLM seems to hold this attitude when it comes to law-enforcement. And in many cases it is true, there is a fair amount of this sort of circling the wagons going on both within many law-enforcement agencies and certainly within police unions, as well as in the Black Lives Matter movement.

    If they can deal with this and stick to some of the more moderate solutions I’ve seen put forth then more power to them, otherwise, in some ways I think they’re doing more harm than good.

  • Truth Matters

    Bryan Stascavage is being generous, however misguided. He is not taking the bull by the horns. Hence wrong thinking goes unchallenged, that is the real shame. The problems of BLM is not a matter of a small percentage. It is the whole platform. The BLM movement — as a whole — has purposefully vilified and denigrated the police. And through the police, all “whiteness” as inherently racist. They cherry pick statistics and do not care or even believe TRUTH MATTERS. Something many of us believe has to be allowed to eventually win out over lies and distortion.

    A select number of deaths are held up as symbolic of police brutality as a whole. That is the aim, . Furthermore, the movement — as a whole — are purposely saying it is about systemic white racism. So the police become the weakest link for trying to tear down all white racism somehow. Yet no analysis of the statistics or counter attacks on the problem are allowed to be considered. All thinking people who care about building up rather than simply tearing down in anger and hate need to call out.the assumptions and destructive distortions of the movement as a whole. Whoever in the movement that believes truth matters first and foremost — not the same old bullying ideology coming out of the universities — should step forward and say so and stand up for truth first. Do an actual study of the situation on the ground; present a fresh perspective of the present situation. NO MORE IDEOLOGY masquerading as truth.

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